The Helmet Electronics and Display System-Upgradeable Protection, or HEaDS-UP, helmet prototypes allow crew members to avoid breathing air fouled by dust, sand and rocks while looking out the hatches of moving vehicles. Photo: NSRDEC by David Kamm
Aug 3, 2014 defense-update.com
The U.S. Army is looking at helmet prototypes with optional parts to protect the face and jaw from various threats, including blast waves.
The US Army recently concluded a study evaluating the safety and survivability applications of different headgear carried by the modern soldier. The Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center conducted the study called ‘Helmet Electronics and Display system — Upgradeable Protection’ (HEaDS-UP) as part of a multi-year effort to develop integrated headgear technologies for the Army and Marines. The program, managed by Mr. Donald R. Lee II, recommend potential upgrades for current helmets, improving the safety and integration with headgear, communications displays. Two modular headgear concept designs emerged from the process include improved eye and face protection which include the mandible and visor. Both provide fragmentation protection for the face. According to Don Lee, project engineer in the Headgear Thrust Area at Natick, the new new headgear parts will be provided as attachments parts can be added or removed in seconds. “Being able to don that (mandible and visor) protection when needed or being able to remove it when not needed is the big ‘wow’ factor,” he added. Other aspects of the program are evaluating improved ballistic materials, non-ballistic impact liner materials and designs, see-through and projected heads-up display technologies,improved hearing protection and communications.
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